• The Valley of the Gods

    Cedar Mesa, Above the Valley of the Gods

    I moved 5 hours from the nearest city, 11 miles from the nearest town (Dolores, pop. 1,500), and one mile from the nearest paved road. Until recently, my nearest neighbor was a ¼ mile away. But noooo, that’s not far enough.

    In order to meditate properly, I […]

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  • Winter Road

    The Final Step Up the Grand Staircase

    After camping out in the Pariah Plateau Wilderness north of the Grand Canyon, I decided to strike camp in a hurry, in anticipation of the next adventure.  I’d chance the twenty-some mile drive down House Rock Valley Road before the rain got too bad.  I’d planned to […]

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  • Steens Mountain

    I’d once read that Steens Mountain might be the most beautiful place in all of Oregon.  That’s much said.  I’d been to Oregon’s beaches, up and down its coast, licked the icing from its Cascades, swatted mosquitoes in the heavy snows at Crater Lake in June.  So Steens had a lot to live up to.  […]

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  • Rainbow Rim, Sunset

    It Lives Up to Its Name

    The canyon losing definition as the sun breaks toward the Uinkarets, a tented line of volcanos to the west.  Declivities dissolve into dusky and soft shapes.  Cavities fill, first with light, and then swell with darkness.  Bereft of the contours chiseled from the day’s youth, the sandstone at […]

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  • Dead Wood

    Needful Things

    Canyonlands NP, Needles District:

    I decided on a day hike from Elephant Hill trailhead.  The trail ends about seven miles  –  or three to four hours later  – at Druid’s Arch.

    I passed by sandstone domes and open canyon, representative of much of southeastern Utah.  The sandstone smoothed into blunted heads, stained with desert […]

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  • Dune Dudes

    Great Sand Dunes National Park, San Luis Valley, CO.

    The San Luis Valley is a land of superlatives.  It’s the size of Connecticut.  It’s a vast bowl surrounded on all sides by high mountains—the Sangre de Cristo on the east and the San Juans to the west.  Yet it’s as flat as the Great Plains. There’s […]

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  • Path Up the Mountain

    A Maddeningly baaa-aad path

    Off the westbound lane of highway 160, smack dab on the La Plata-Montezuma County line at the summit of a grade locally called Mancos Hill, you can turn right into National Forest.  Just take Madden Peak Road.

    If you’re in a pint-sized Toyota Yaris with about an inch of ground clearance […]

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  • Arkansas Dusk

    You can glide all day through the Ozarks and not hit a mall until Branson.  I wind through oaken national forest on routes that switchback like true mountain roads even though they rise only 30 feet here, dip just 20 feet there.  I don’t reach higher elevation until the Boston Highlands, a well-watered plateau heavily […]

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  • Things a Mountain Taught Me


    Not a Mountain in England

    I had hiked mountains in England’s Lake District a couple years before, and again yesterday.  Today I decided to get adventurous.  I took a ferry from the resort town of  Windemere across the eponymous lake, largest in England, to the tea-cozy village of Ambleside with its farms hemmed in […]

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